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Gophers stay unbeaten in single-A tourney

Reynolds clinches playoff spot in AAA
by: David Ball, Gresham pitcher Matt Pechman fires a fastball during the Gophers' 11-1 win against Hood River on Saturday.

Gresham took control of its grouping at the A legion tournament at Barlow High School with a dominating 11-1 win against Hood River in six innings Saturday afternoon. The Gophers broke the game open with an eight-run burst in the second inning, and ended the game on the mercy rule when Mickey Inns drove a solo home run to deep left field. The ball almost landed on the road behind the home-run fence 365 feet away.

'The kids are loose, and when they want to stroke the ball they can really do it,' Gophers' manager Leroy Tharp said.

The Gophers became the first team to reach 2-0 in the tournament and can win their pool by sweeping a doubleheader Monday night.

In other Class A legion action, Reynolds evened its record in pool play by holding on for a 7-5 win against Sandy. The Raiders took a 7-1 lead midway through the game, only to see the Pioneers bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning. Relief pitcher Vinny Konkler ended the game with a strikeout.

Jeremy Vernholm hit an RBI-double to give the Raiders a 6-1 lead in the second inning. Sandy's Forest Reis led all hitters by going 4 for 4 with two RBIs.

Estacada continued to pound out runs, reaching double digits for the second time in three games to beat David Douglas 13-1.

AAA American Legion

Reynolds locked up a berth in Monday's final four by beating Barlow 11-5 on Saturday night. The Raiders took control with a six-run burst in the first inning, started on a solo home run by Trevor Winsor.

Barlow's Kyle Paul pitched a complete game, and also hit 3 for 4 with two homers and a double.

Reynolds faces off against Grant at 5 p.m. Sunday to decide the winner of Pool B.

In other AAA action, East County took command in Pool A by blowing out S.E. Portland 16-0 in five innings. The Knights exploded for nine runs in the second inning, despite connecting on just three singles during the scoring spree. Southeast surrendered five walks and hit three batters to doom itself early in the game.

Grant defeated Centennial 4-0 to open play Saturday and eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention.

Additional coverage, including the championship games, will appear in Wednesday's edition of The Gresham Outlook.